Music Has No Bars
I had a reminder from Roger Montgomery, this year’s examiner from The Guildhall School of Music & Drama, about a forthcoming TV programme featuring his daughter, Ruth. Despite being diagnosed as deaf at the age of three, Ruth pursued her interest in music, becoming a flautist and instrumental teacher.
The programme, entitled See Hear, features her trip to St. Petersburg to play a flute concerto with a local orchestra and will be broadcast in two parts Saturdays – 20th and 27th at 12:00 on BBC2.
www.bbc.co.uk/seehear/video to see a video preview of these programmes under the title Music Has No Bars
Recent changes to Higher Music mean that pupils are allowed to offer:
- pieces from the list of suggested works for each instrument published by the SQA
- any piece from the appropriate grade of any of the exam boards in the UK – including past syllabuses
- other pieces submitted in advance by the instructor to the SQA for approval
There exists some duplication in the third option for instructors who work in many secondary schools – but with good reason. Continue reading The New Higher
“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826); 3rd president of US.
The structure of the school day is about to change in Knox and North Berwick High. What will this mean for instrumental pupils? The new six-period day, each lasting one hour will, for us, be the 12-lesson day, each lasting 30 minutes. Pupils will have to keep one eye on their watch (no change there, then) Continue reading No Bell Prize
“Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I will learn. Involve me and I will understand.”
Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC); Chinese philosopher & reformer.
Any playing in a group lesson has to be “counted in” to ensure that everyone begins at the same time and at the right speed. Pupils don’t always focus with all their might and a restart can take up limited time. One way to reel them in is to Continue reading Confucian Counting
On Thu 11 May I attended a CPD course in The Ministry of Truth (JMH) entitled Creative Thinking and Learning: An Introduction to de Bono. Although initially devastated that The Edge hadn’t turned up, it proved to be a very interesting experience. Continue reading The Milliner’s Tale
Around this time of year (and also at Christmas) I like to invite enthusiastic P7 pupils to perform in concert with the Guitar Group in Musselburgh Grammar School – the only cluster in which I visit feeder primary schools. The idea is to Continue reading I’m A Heterophonist, Get Me Out Of Here
I received some good news recently in the form of external guitar exam results – 2 passes, 5 merits & 5 honours. The grades ranged from one to six. Sadly, this marks the end of a lengthy relationship with the Guildhall School of Music & Drama as their syllabus expires this year. They have merged with Trinity College and a new joint syllabus is soon to emerge. It is not certain that the specialist examiner policy will be retained. All will be revealed in mid-June at a workshop in Edinburgh.
If anything is to be learned from the recent diet of exams it is Continue reading Time for a new diet
An interesting time to start a blog. The SQA practical exams and external “grade” exams are over; fewer and fewer schools put on a summer concert – so lunchtime rehearsals are on the retreat; many of the senior pupils are currently on exam leave. What do we do all day? Well, mainly crosswords and sudoku – but not back to back, as wed have nothing to do in the afternoon.
On days where there is nothing pressing to report, I’ll go into the many non-contact aspects of the job which blossom at this time of year.
I’m not sure who, if anyone, will read this blog and I’m aware that a different register would be better for the many different areas of expertise – instrumental instructors; classroom music teachers; other subject teachers; educationalists in general, parents and occasional visitors to the site. I hope it makes some sense, and may be of some use, to anyone who chances upon it.